Winter is fairly starting to bite now, up here in the northern wastelands.
I had to de-ice my car for the first time today and, in the middle of a quiet spell for cricket news, the season seemed a long way off.
Still, the Derbyshire players have reported back for pre-season training and they all look pretty fit after their end of season breaks from the game. Billy Godleman seemes enthused about the new structure and we all await news of the other coaching roles and of a strike bowler.
It was good to see England make a positive start in India, Joe Root maintaining his position (in my eyes) as the world's best all-round batsman. AB de Villiers is the best T20 player and Kane Williamson is an outstanding all-rounder, Virat Kohli a run machine on his own tracks, but I'd take Root as my pick for an all format batsman at present.
On the county front, another South African international, Stiaan van Zyl, has signed a three-year deal with Sussex, who appear to be accepting that Ed Joyce may be moving back to Ireland. The South African is a very good player, but perhaps just short of international standard. I have no doubts that he will get his share of runs for them though and will prove a very canny addition to their resources. He will have to go some to match the prolific Joyce, though, who has been an excellent servant to the club.
Finally, Fidel Edwards has signed another contract with Hampshire, this after his season was ended prematurely with a broken leg sustained in pre-match warm-ups.
I'll be back at the weekend with more news and, hopefully, a book review.